History of the last years
Sherpa for a first
For this first year, runners may chose to stop the race and be classified at Courmayeur, Champex, or push on to Chamonix. In Dantesque conditions (rain, cold and hail), the Nepalese Dawa Sherpa and the American Krissy Moehl are winners of the complete tour which only 67 runners manage to complete.
Delebarre on his own
Vincent Delebarre is the new winner of the UTMB®. He gives the Chamonix Valley the pleasure of seeing a “local boy” on the highest step. He becomes the Valley’s running club’s first trainer and introduces the pleasures of trail-running to numerous members. The Swiss woman Colette Borcard adds the UTMB® to her list of wins.
Christophe Jacquerod wins the 3rd event. Following the example of the winners of the first 2 races, the Swiss man is one of the big characters of the time. For the women, we discover the British Elisabeth Hawker, who today holds the record in all categories for podium places (6) for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.
4th UTMB® and... 1st CCC®
After a perfect management of his race which left him kilometres in the lead, the victory of the Italian, Marco Olmo, made an impression because of his age (58). One could think therefore that this is a sport reserved for the “over 40s”. As for the women, it was the French lady, Karine Herry, who won after a great race. Meanwhile, for the 1st CCC® Corinne Favre stole the title for 1st woman and 1st overall.
The madness of Mermoud
In the lead until la Fouly… Nicolas Mermoud let go of the reins after Champex and Marco Olmo’s inexorable regularity gave him, at 59, his 2nd UTMB® victory. As for the women, Nikki Kimball is the 2nd American to take the title of the event which is so different from those organised at the other side of the ocean. In the CCC® we see the 1st places on the podium being taken by Julien Chorier (FR) and Andrea Ursina (CH).
The young take the lead
At just 20 years old, the youngest registered for the UTMB®, Kilian Jornet (ESP), wins the event after escaping from everybody at Les Contamines and opens the world of ra to the young runners. Lizzy Hawker climbs for the 2nd time on to the top step of the podium. In the CCC® Guillaume Lenormand (FR) and Lucie Colquoun (GB) occupy the first places.
An additional race, the TDS®
This year is marked by record temperatures (28° to 30°C). Everybody waits to see Kilian Jornet who confirms his domination and easily takes possession of the top step. For her 2nd participation, a 2nd victory for Krissy Moehl. The CCC® allows the Swiss Jean-Yves Rey and the French Chantal Bègue to share the top of the podium. Patrick Bohard (FR) and Fernanda Maciel (ESP) win the 1st TDS®.
Capricious weather conditions
It is not yet raining when the runners set off at 18:30… But the perturbation evolves faster than expected: torrents overflow and stone falls render the mountain impractical. The race is stopped. After a second start, the next day, from Courmayeur, the winning duo are British : Jezz Bragg and Lizzy Hawker. Xavier Thévenard and Maud Giraud dominate the CCC®. The TDS® is cancelled.
Relentless weather conditions…
The weather (again) obliges the organisers to delay the start to 23:00 and to lengthen the race in order that it can “pass”. At mid-way the race leaders: 3 Spaniards Jornet, Karrera and Heras, and Sébastien Chaigneau from the Haute Savoie, are not going to let go until Martigny. Kilian escapes to pass the the finishing line alone. For the women, «Queen» Elisabeth Hawker has her 4th victory while in the CCC® Emmanuel Gault and Virginie Covignon (FR) celebrate. The TDS® is won by Franck Bussière (FR) and Jolanda Linschooten (NL).
The weather conditions "forbid" access to Italy
Once again excruciating weather creates dantesque conditions (snow, cold, hail...) without hope of improving. An alternative route in France is organised during Thursday night (110km with 5600m ascent). It is almost night when the pack set out and it is still night when François D’Haene (FR) crosses the finishing line in Chamonix. Less than 2 hours later, another victory for Lizzy Hawker. The CCC® takes place in extremely rough conditions and sees victories for Tofol Castaner Bernat (ESP) with 42 minutes advance on his adversary and Ellie Greenwood (UK). In the TDS®, the victories were for Dawa Sherpa (Népal) and Agnès Hervé (FR).
A wind of renewal
Profiting from exceptionally good weather conditions the Jurassien, Xavier Thévenard, and the Californian, Rory Bosio, gave flying performances, thwarting all the forecasts for the UTMB® at the same time terrifying the stop watches. Xavier confirmed his exceptional talents and stands out on his first attempt at the UTMB®, while Rory is the first woman to make the complete tour in less than 23 hours. While Catalonia and Spain celebrate the victories of Jordi Bes (CCC®) and Arnaud Julia Bonmati (TDS®) the French girls Caroline Chaverot (CCC®) and Nathalie Mauclair (TDS®) confirm an exceptional 2013 season.
The birth of the little
Helvetic sister Rain and sunshine, the ingredients of an excellent “vintage”. François D’Haene (FR) and the American Rory Bosio cross, for the second time, the UTMB® finishing line in Chamonix as victors. The TDS® lets Xavier Thévenard have the success of a trio of wins climbing to the top step of the podium having conquered those of the CCC® (2010) then the UTMB® (2013), while Teresa Nimes Perez (ESP) claims the women’s 1st place. The CCC® sees Pau Bartolo (ESP) and Anne-Lise Rousset (FR) claiming their 1st places. As for the 1st year of the OCC, with an impressive line-up of athletes, is marked by the victories Nicolas Martin (FR) and Sonia Glarey (IT) of the Courmayeurs Trailers.
After a wet Monday for the start of the PTL®, all the other days of the week were marked by sunny and scorching weather unusual for this time of year. Xavier Thévenard (FR) took his 4th vistory at the event, his 2nd for the UTMB®. Nathalie Mauclair (FR), the world champion was on the top step of the women’s podium. As for the CCC®, it was the American, Zach Miller, who was on the top step alongside the New Zealander, Ruth Charlotte Croft. After having won the CCC® in 2014, the Spaniard Pau Bartolo was the winner of the 2015 TDS®, while the Swiss Andrea Huser won for the women. In the OCC, in which the world champion Sylvain Court participated, the victory went to Marc Pinsach Rubirola (ES) 3rd the year before, while Celia Chiron (FR), first participation in the event was 1st placed first for the women. The PTL®, after a serious drenching at the beginning of the race , was run under blue skies with temperatures varying between 28° and 33°. The thermometer dropped very little at night. 17 teams out of the 115 registered completed the totality of the route within the time.
A stifling event, with twists and turns !
The UTMB® proposed a scenario of incredible race. The victory, was indecisive right up until the end, eventually going to Ludovic Pommeret (FRA) who realised a heroic race, gaining one of his most resounding successes. Same suspension in the women's race where Caroline Chaverot (FRA) and Andrea Huser (CH) experienced a combat of more than 25 hours. Michel Lanne won the CCC® realising one his dearest objectives, while for the women, Sweden revealed a new athlete, Mimmi Kotka. Under the generous sunshine, the Spaniard Pau Capell won the TDS®, outstripping another Iberian, Yeray Duran. Delphine Avenier, a local runner, had the advantage on the American Meredith Edwards. By gaining the victory of the OCC, with quarter of an hour in advance of his pursuer, Xavier Thévenard (FR) is the first runner to have a victory four 4 of the UTMB® events. The Spaniard Mercedes Arcos was 1st woman.
A stifling event, with twists and turns ! Match of titans around the Mont-Blanc
The UTMB® races were to bring the best ultra-trail runners, of the moment, in the world, into conflict in capricious weather conditions which went from those of summer to those of winter. In the key race, it was an as high caliber line-up as ever, with in particular, the long-awaited duel between the leaders in the discipline, François D' Haene and Kilian Jornet, which captivated the public. Add the American will-of-the-wisp Jim Walmsley, used to powering through the pack, or Xavier Thévenard and his race science, and in the end, you get an event, which was victoriously looped in 19 hours 1 minute by François D’Haene.Only the majority of the TDS® competitors were able to benefit from clement weather, with the heat of summer and radiant sunshine. Radiant, like Michel Lanne and Mimmi Kotka's smiles on the finishing line. A few hours later the Swiss Marc Lauenstein and the surprising Spaniard Oli Gordon Rodriguez succeeded them over the waterlogged, festive and more populated than ever finishing line, winning the 2017 OCC. On Friday evening, the CCC® delivered its verdict, by dedicating it to a promising American duet, with the supersonic Hayden Hawks and Clare Gallagher.
A new generation of champions
The 16th edition further reinforced the race's already very international character, with the rise of several talented young Chinese runners who made a lasting impression with their aggressive race strategy. Erenjia Jia won the OCC to become the first Chinese runner to win a UTMB® race. Miao Yao copied him the very next day by winning the women's CCC®, while her boyfriend, Min Qi finished in second for the men. Eastern Europeans also took center stage during the week's races. On Thursday, Polish runner Marcin Swierc won the TDS® and Russian Dmitry Mityaev placed third. On Saturday, Romanian runner Robert Hajnal finished second in the UTMB®. The 16th edition of the UTMB® will go down in the history books of trail running. Several comebacks and the challenging weather conditions created unbelievable circumstances for the men's and women's elite that shook up the trail running world. Saturday, after running for 20 hours and 44 minutes, Xavier Thévenard passed the finish-line arch to roaring applause. With this third win, Xavier equals François d'Haene and Kilian Jornet in number of victories.
A Crowning Year for the Spaniards. It was said that no podium was out of reach for Spain during these 2019 UTMB races. Indeed, among the 100 countries represented, Spain was the big winner in this 2019 edition, which included no fewer than 10,000 competitors taking the start of the different races. The Spanish attack began Wednesday night on the TDS® (145km / 9100m D +), with the victory of Pablo Villa, the fastest of the 1600 entrants. The change of course didn’t seem to bother Audrey Tanguy, defending champion, who was once again victorious for the women. Spanish dominance continued on Thursday with three-time world champion trailblazer Luis Alberto Hernando, winner of the 2019 CCC® (101km / 6100m D +). Spanish resident Ragna Debats (HOL) took the win for the women. In the end, it was only on the OCC (56km / 3500m D +) where Spain failed to triumph. The country missed a win and a possible Spanish Grand Slam by just 1 minute, 22 seconds to Andreu Simon, the gap separating Spain rom Norwegian winner Stian Angermund-Vik. On the women’s side, Azara Garcia (ESP) couldn’t find a way to stop New Zealand's Ruth Croft from scoring a second consecutive title in the event. Pau Capell completed the Iberian triumph yesterday at the UTMB® (171km / 10,000m D +), thanks to a strong solo performance that no one could touch. After Krissy Moehl (2003 and 2009), Nikki Kimball (2007), and Rory Bosio (2013 and 2014), late afternoon yesterday Courtney Dauwalter became the 4th American to win in Chamonix, with a time of 24 hours, 34 minutes.
Covid-19: 2020 UTMB® Mont-Blanc is cancelled. After having carefully examined all the options in compliance with the government’s regulations, but also after having consulted with the runners, local authorities and partners, the UTMB® Mont-Blanc organization team regrets to announce that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition, which was scheduled to take place from August 24 to 31, has been cancelled. This decision was also taken after consultation with the UTMB® Mont-Blanc Medical Committee, and it was deemed the most responsible action to preserve the health and safety of all involved. This includes 10,000 runners from 111 countries, the 100,000 visitors and inhabitants of the Mont-Blanc regions, the 500 service providers, the 60 partners and the 2,300 volunteers. "In the mountains, we are familiar with risk and commitment. When the conditions are not right, it's more reasonable to turn back and go home. Risk taking is part of our culture, as is knowing your limits. To give up is to show courage. When you give up an ascent, you know that there will be other opportunities to come back, when the conditions are right, when you are ready, when the storm is over." explains Catherine Poletti, founder of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc.